By Mohammed Shareef M P & Deepti Nair
As the re-election is only hours away, the candidates and students organizations supporting them are brushing up on their last minute strategies. Meetings and crowds abound in places like the shop com and gops in which discussion of the impending elections dominate. Around 4000 students are all set to exercise their right to vote tomorrow. But it is a common fear if the political drama that preceded this re-election would lead to a lesser turn out of voters this time. To quell this fear, all student organisations are trying to encourage more people to cast their votes and ensure a more representative Students’ Union.
The candidates got a chance to present their manifestos and agendas at the open dais session held yesterday at the DST auditorium. But surprisingly, the auditorium was quite empty at 3 p.m. when the session was supposed to start. The Returning Officers, who were conducting the session, were waiting for the candidates and students to arrive and take their places. The session eventually started by 4.30 pm but even then, the turn out of students was sadly less. A majority of the students present there were supporters of the candidates and the student organisations.
Returning Officers Dr. Rajashekhar read out the code of conduct for the open dais session while Mr. Vasuki Belavadi oversaw the proceedings. Each candidate was given a specific time period to present their election manifestos. The Candidates standing for the post of President and General Secretary were given five minutes to speak while all others were given three minutes. While the students were allowed to ask two main questions and four supplementary questions to the former, they were allowed to ask one main question and two supplementary questions to the latter. The questions had to be confined to the agendas presented by the candidates in the specified time.
Most candidates talked about providing certain facilities like hike and timely disbursement of the fellowships to the students, providing internet connectivity to all hostels, better quality of food in the mess, immediate development of infrastructure in the South Campus etc. Though the proceeding started smoothly, it turned quite noisy near the end with some students shouting and passing loud comments.
The open dais session was conducted amid tight security and was also captured on video by the authorities. Security will also be ensured for the polling tomorrow and the counting which will happen on Saturday.